Future precipitation changes over Panama projected with the atmospheric global model MRI-AGCM3.2

  • Shoji KusunokiEmail author
  • Tosiyuki Nakaegawa
  • Reinhardt Pinzón
  • Javier E. Sanchez-Galan
  • José R. Fábrega


Future change in precipitation over Panama was investigated with 20-km and 60-km mesh global atmospheric models. The present-day climate simulations were conducted for 21 years from 1983 through 2003, driving models by observed historical sea surface temperatures (SST). The future climate simulations were conducted for 21 years from 2079 through 2099, driving models by future SST distributions projected by the Atmosphere–Ocean General Circulation Models that participated in the Fifth phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. The uncertainty of future precipitation change was evaluated by ensemble simulations giving four different SST patterns and three different cumulus convection schemes. In the future, precipitation increases over the central and eastern part of Panama from May to November corresponding to the rainy season. Uncertainty of future precipitation change depends on cumulus convection schemes rather than SST distributions. Increase of precipitation over most regions can be attributed to the increase of water vapor transport originated in the Caribbean Sea which converges over Panama. Precipitation averaged over the Panama canal, the Gatun lake and related river basin (79.0°–80.5°W, 8.5°–9.5°N) will increase during most of the rainy season persisting from May to October, while precipitation in dry season persisting from December to April does not change in the future. Intense precipitation increases, but the possibility of drought increases. These results suggest that the planning of water resource management for the Panama canal may require some modifications in the future.


Precipitation Panama Global warming projection High resolution model 



This work was supported by the research project “ Integrated Research Program for Advanced Climate Modeling” under the framework of the TOUGOU Program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) of Japan. We appreciate advice and comments by anonymous reviewers which enhanced the quality of manuscript. We also thanks the colleagues of global climate modelling in MRI. The National System of Investigation (SNI) of Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (SENACYT) supports the research activities by J. E. Sanchez-Galan, R. Pinzón, and J. R. Fábrega.

Supplementary material

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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Global Atmosphere Ocean Research DepartmentMeteorological Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Societal Safety SciencesKansai UniversityOsakaJapan
  3. 3.Center for Hydraulic and Hydrotechnical Research (CIHH)Technological University of PanamaPanamaRepublic of Panama
  4. 4.Agroindustrial Research and Production Center (CEPIA)Technological University of PanamaPanamaRepublic of Panama
  5. 5.Institute of Advanced Scientific Research and High Technology (INDICASAT)Ciudad del SaberPanamaRepublic of Panama

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